Help me have a Blast.
April 2, 2016 10:16 AM   Subscribe

How to make sure that I can enable cable modem Internet in a condo? Current owner is using DSL and that has me concerned.

I just put in an offer on a condo in Massachusetts. This is my very first condo purchase (not my first home purchase though).

Said offer is contingent on the availability of cable modem internet in the unit. I work from home so this is a must. (Yes, I will Get My Own Lawyer and I'm also represented by a buyer-only broker.)

The current owner is using DSL, although there is a coax outlet coming out of the same receptacle to which she has her modem connected. (Why you would use DSL if there was cable modem available beats the heck out of me... and I'm not even sure the two can coexist.)

I just confirmed with Comcast that Blast is "available" at the given address. It's literally across the tracks from where I am now, so I would have expected that answer.

Should I be asking any other questions? If the unit needs to be wired to accommodate cable modem internet, is that going to be a problem? I'm afraid I'm going to get a facile answer from seller's agent and then wind up not being able to wire the unit properly.

There are retail units on the first floor. I could always walk in and Ask An Employee. :-) It doesn't mean that the second floor residential units are up to snuff on the cable provisioning, though.
posted by Sheydem-tants to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
 
The cable company owns and is responsible for getting the cable from the telephone poles to your condo and to a point inside your condo where you can hook up a cable modem.

As an aside, if you have any technical issues with your cable Internet, it is to this point they will help you without additional fees. Engineers can and will check cable connectivity and signal strength and cleanliness up to the point where you connect the modem.

From there, they can charge you either an ongoing maintenance fee or for labor and supplies to run cable to any other location in the condo. They may also be able to help you (for a fee) or other geek types may be able to help you to run other network cabling throughout the house or set up a WiFi router or access point.

What, specifically, are you worried about?
posted by kalessin at 10:22 AM on April 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Why you would use DSL if there was cable modem available beats the heck out of me... and I'm not even sure the two can coexist.

As a note, they totally can. I know plenty of telecommuters that use both so that they have a backup if one goes down.

Seconding kalessin that you're fine, especially if Comcast tells you that it's available there.
posted by Candleman at 10:47 AM on April 2, 2016


> Why you would use DSL if there was cable modem available beats the heck out of me... and I'm not even sure the two can coexist

I use ADSL where cable is also available. ADSL is a third of the price, and doesn't come with a bunch of TV and sports extras that I don't want or need, and doesn't have a minimum term contract lasting until the next ice age. The connection is slower, but when I'm living by myself I don't need 200Mbps or whatever they're advertising.

You can absolutely have both - they're two totally separate systems and can co-exist peacefully. You just have two sockets and two modems in your house.
posted by winterhill at 10:53 AM on April 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm not even sure the two can coexist.)

DSL uses the telephone lines, cable uses the "cable TV" lines; they're entirely separate wires, they can co-exist.

Why you would use DSL if there was cable modem available beats the heck out of me

While cable is theoretically faster by the specs, it's not always so in practice (easily google-able why); DSL could well be cheaper - cable Internet is often only a good deal if you also get a "bundle" with cable TV and/or a telephone, and lots of people have little interest in watching cable TV; DSL is plenty fast enough for tons of people. I'm a DSL user myself, for these very reasons, and it's not like I have to wait for half an hour for my Netflix shows to load up.

I just confirmed with Comcast that Blast is "available" at the given address.

My only concern here would be whether this was "confirmed" by an actual person, or whether you got this via plugging data into the Comcast website. Pretty much every time I've investigated changing ISPs or my method of delivery the various companies' websites have promised all sorts of stuff, but once I actually got on the phone and contacted a real person it turned out that they couldn't actually deliver the services I wanted to my specific address - the websites were more "sales pitch" than useful information. Talk to an actual person if you haven't already.
posted by soundguy99 at 11:07 AM on April 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


If you can get cable TV, you can get cable internet. I imagine there's already a jack in the unit, but if you want to locate the cable modem somewhere else in the condo, that wiring job may be up to you.
posted by rhizome at 11:52 AM on April 2, 2016


How to make sure that I can enable cable modem Internet in a condo?

Insist that the current owner has cable installed and working before you sign anything legally binding (they can always transfer the bill to your name afterward). Verify that it works on all of your equipment before proceeding with the deal. What soundguy99 says is all too common -- ISPs will promise you the moon right up til your install date and then drop the "Oops, sorry-we-can't-actually-do-that bomb" at the last minute. Don't believe anything they tell you over the phone or in person; seeing (it working) is believing.

Another thing you could run into after the fact (as I did) is that some buildings have exclusivity contracts with certain ISPs, so the current owner may not be using Comcast because the building only allows AT&T or another company under their rules and provisions. Check just to be sure.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 12:19 PM on April 2, 2016


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